Details of Used 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL, Montclair, NJ - Yahoo! Autos
Sorry about the delay, looked at this car yesterday.
On a 1-5 scale, I'd place this one at about 2.8. Admittedly, I didn't drive it (more on why later).
This seems like an nearly all-original survivor. It appears it's been outside for the past number of years as I saw a lot of sun damage, both to the very tired original paint job (there is fading on nearly all surfaces) as well as to the interior. The dash, surprisingly enough, is intact, but the wood is almost white. The seats are mostly OK, even the back one, but the armrest has numerous tears that look almost like they're from vandalism. The climate control levers look intact, the original stereo is in place. The steering wheel looks like it was replaced many years ago, possibly even at purchase time. Perhaps the original owner didn't like the design and had the dealer install the one you see.
In addition to the fading, there are numerous cracks in the paint mostly on both front and rear fenders and there is a good amount of rust. Most concerning areas to me were both rocker panels the front parts of which display what to me is a lot of bubbling. There are also numerous small rust spots on the hood, but, oddly enough, not on the trunk or the roof.
When I first saw the car, it looked to me like it was sitting lower than it should, which is odd, given that there is no air suspension and the tires are of the correct size. Speaking of tires, they are a set of old tired Coopers. The rims look OK, but all 20 lugbolts are rusty.
The car sports the original window sticker which shows an MSRP of $11,600. Maybe that's where this dealer got their 11,500 asking price.
I didn't bother driving the car, because it was buried behind about 5 other similarly overpriced German cars, all of which were in similarly "average" condition. This dealer seems to specialize in condition 3 cars at condition 1 prices.
Which brings me to my conclusion. If you're the kind of guy who subscribes to the "They're only original once" school of thought, this is not a terrible car, but at nowhere near the money they're after. I'd price it in the $4000-4500 range, if I really liked it.